An Encounter

Jesus Changes Everything

By Josh Lombard on August 24th, 2018

    Many of us have seen the work of the Lord in the world around us, or perhaps have even caught a glimpse of how real He is in someone else’s life, but Jesus wants us to know Him for ourselves. Encountering the Holy Spirit in a real and tangible way opens our eyes to see God as we never have and opens our hearts to a greater level of faith. Have you ever had an encounter? Below is the story of Josh Lombard, the leader of our usher team here at Living Hope. Check out his story and the encounter he had that changed his life in a wonderful way!

More than a week has passed since I was asked to take part in this blog.  I have continually asked God to show me what he would like for me to share.  Never quite feeling comfortable that I am heading the direction he is sending me.  Ephesians 6:19(NLT) “and pray for me, too.  Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the good news is for Jews and Gentiles alike.’

Let me just share a small tidbit of my testimony.  Having grown up in an area where just about everyone was Catholic, I was no stranger to religion.  I had been baptized in the Episcopal church as an infant. Beyond that, my immediate family was what I like to call “holiday Christians” showing up for Easter and Christmas services. The only other time I would be at church on a Sunday was if I had slept over a friend’s house the night before. 

Fast forward to 2004.  By this time, I had married my high school sweetheart, bought a house, and had a great job with all the benefits.  I felt like I was on top of the world, having already achieved most of what one dreams of as a child. I never would have expected all of that to come crashing down in an instant.  In August of 2004 our lives would forever change as we knew it.  After working on a metal roof all day in the midst of a heat wave a group of us went up to a Boston hospital to visit a coworker that had been injured on the job a few days before and was recovering from surgery.  After being in the room for a little while my stomach began to feel upset. I walked over to tell Tanya that I was going to step out for some fresh air. I tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention, next thing I knew I was on the ground.  I had passed out.  I immediately regained consciousness and pushed people out of my way, so I could sit in a nearby chair.  Within seconds the nurses had rushed into the room. Apparently, my head made so much noise hitting the floor that they thought the T.V. had fallen off the wall.  To make a long story shorter, I woke up 3 days later after being placed in a drug induced coma with a fractured skull.  I had lost my sense of smell and the hearing in one ear from all the swelling within my brain.  After months of recovery and physical therapy to learn how to walk properly, we decided that a change of scenery was needed, and we put our home up for sale.  That’s when we moved down to FL to help take care of my grandmother.

Tanya soon took a job working at Suncoast Christian Academy as the VPK teacher. As a requirement, they asked that she attend church on a weekly basis.  Since we were already going to church with my Grandmother every other week, we filled in the other weeks at Suncoast Worship Center.  It was during this time that the Lord began to plant different people into our lives.  After a few months they began to have a Saturday night service.  Tanya and I were asked to assist in the media department for these services. During one of the services they had a missionary from Africa come as a guest speaker.  At the end of service, they opened the alter for prayer.  I had seen this done many times but never felt compelled to go (it was easy to hide behind the camera I was running). During his closing he asked if anyone needed prayer for a big change/job ect.  I had just been offered a job that was going to require me to travel out of state and thought to myself, what do I have to lose?

I waited patiently as he made his way down the line of people. When he got to me, I told him why I had come up to the altar. He removed a prayer cloth from his jacket pocket. He began to pray over me and as soon as he placed the cloth on my head I was immediately overcome by the Holy Spirit and fell to the ground.  I had seen this during other services but at the time thought people just did it on purpose. He had the ushers pick me up off the ground and continued to pray. Within seconds I was on the ground again. He had them pick me up again to continue to pray. I soon dropped for a third time, but this time remained on the floor as he prayed over me.

There have been times when I’ve questioned Gods existence. It’s as if He laughs and reminds me, 3 TIMES I put you on the ground. I recently overheard a guest ask if they were supposed to fall down at the end of prayer like the person they were with had.  I thought to myself, if God wants you to hit the floor you won’t have a choice!

I pray that everyone has an opportunity to experience the Holy Spirit as I had that day. The Lord continues to prove himself to us on a daily basis for no reason other than to show His love for us. We are all truly blessed to have a heavenly father that cares so very much for us.

Jesus wants to encounter you today! Seek Him, and He will be found. What do you have to lose?
Be Blessed,
Josh Lombard

One Response to “An Encounter”

  1. Charley Vella says:

    Hello Josh,
    Lift him up, Lift him upppp! My heart sings when I hear testimonies like yours. Thanks for sharing.
    He is ever present I find while I’m the same with him.
    Iooking forward to worshiping the Lord at your church this winter, I hope I get a chance to say hello.
    Charley and Mary Vella
    355 Ibey rd
    Canaan NH 03741

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